Langston's "Wander" - the first interactive (text) fiction

Noting that Peter Langston is mentioned in the video posted under Geniac Replica Instructions I see his earliest work is rediscovered and resurrected here:

(Peter Langston having a bit of a history with computer games, but of course unrelated to Chris Langton of Ant and Loop fame with whom I’d momentarily confused him.)


Weeeeeelllllll, Doggies! That’s pretty cool! I might have to play with that.

Just a tad more info, from the README on github:

The author is Peter Langston, who when asked if this is really from 1974 says:

“As I remember I came up with the idea for Wander and wrote an early version in HP Basic while I was still teaching at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA (that system limited names to six letters, so: WANDER, EMPIRE, CONVOY, SDRECK, GALAXY, etc.). Then I rewrote Wander in C on Harvard’s Unix V5 system shortly after our band moved to Boston in 1974. I got around to putting a copyright notice on it in 1978.”


Also note that Wander isn’t a story game, but a tool for such, with some examples. From the man page:

Wander is a tool for writing non‐deterministic fantasy stories. The product is a story whose unfolding is affected by decisions made by the “reader.”

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Very interesting post! 30 years ago, I wrote my own framework for text-adventures in Basic, which was able to “run” non-linear fantasy books from a german book publisher.
I named the framework (very original) FANFRAME and designed an own makro assembler like control language.
I believe that text adventures always will have their place among the most sophisticated graphics games.
Or, as André Heller stated in a song: “The real adventures are in your head, and when they are’nt in your head, they’re nowhere.”